Letter to the editor 3, Feb. 9, 2017

A Tale of Two Cities

Dear Editor,

In a recent Your Local Journal and following up on Richard Meades’ ‘letter to the editor’, the Mayor of Notre-Dame-de-l’Île Perrot (NDIP) announced that plans for the land stabilization of her town should be completed by the summer of 2017. She also added that a meeting is planned to provide the property owners with details as to the scope and scale of the work needed. Mayor Danie Deschênes started the ball rolling in October 2016 by doing the following.

  • Acknowledging the problem.

  • Identifying the areas with risk of landslide.

  • Restricting building new developments in the area.

  • Budgeting $3.4 million to stabilize the area.

  • Applying for financial aid from the Provincial government, which will cover 75% of the land stabilizing cost.

  • Meeting with the residents to explain the implications of the landslide risk designation.

Comparing the actions/developments of NDIP administration with those of St. Lazare administration:

St. Lazare administration acknowledged there is a land -slide risk in Chaline Valley at an information session back in September 17, 2012, but little has been done other than to obfuscate, ignore many of the facts.

St. Lazare administration needs to follow the example of proactive towns by applying for subsidies offered by the Provincial government, living up to their fiduciary obligation to the residents, acknowledging the town’s responsibility according to Quebec regulations cited in The Planning and Development Powers of Quebec whereby it is clearly mentions under Natural Restrictions (s,5,4) that RCMs ( Regional County Municipalities) must identify the zones where occupation of the ground is subject to specific restrictions because of the risk to public health, safety and wellbeing. These risks include:

- flooding beyond the riverbanks (during the period of melting snow), following ice jams or torrential rains.

- erosion caused by water, ice or wind, - land- slides consisting of soil or rock, simple or composite

- other catastrophes such as rockslides (blocks of rock), sinking of the ground (due to the consolidation or compaction of the soil), cave-ins (due to the collapse of the roof of subterranean cavities), avalanches, seisms (earthquakes), etc..

St. Lazare needs to allocate money in the town’s budget for land stabilization and they need to keep the residents informed.

The mayor and councillors missed the boat for the Volet 6 subsidy for sinking houses even though many towns managed to benefit from it, including NDIP. The way the town is handling the land stabilizing issue, residents are going to miss out on municipal and provincial financial assistance.

Joanne Ackland

Concerned resident of St. Lazare

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